DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In honor of this, the Decatur Police Department is launching a new campaign, urging drivers to “Drop It and Drive.”

The police department released a statement that law enforcement is stepping up efforts targeting distracted drivers. Decatur Police is partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois State Police (ISP) and more than 200 local law enforcement agencies to further enforcement efforts across the state.

“Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of motor vehicle crashes on our roads today,” said Decatur Police Sgt. Steve Hagemeyer. “During Distracted Driving Awareness Month, law enforcement will boost enforcement efforts, stopping anyone who is texting and driving. Remember, if you have a phone in one hand, you can expect a ticket in the other.”

Officials said that Illinois drivers can expect to see increased patrols and traffic safety enforcement zones throughout April.

To keep your attention on the road, ISP shared these tips:

  • If you need to send a text or check your phone, pull over and park your car in a safe location.
  • Make a passenger your “designated texter.” Let them use your phone to respond to calls or messages.
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
  • Cell phone use can be habit-forming. If you are struggling to not text and drive, put the cell phone in the trunk or back seat.

Decatur Police said that using your phone in anything other than in a hands-free mode in Illinois is not only dangerous, but it’s illegal. They are encouraging all drivers to drop it and drive.

The Illinois Distracted Driving Campaign is funded with federal traffic safety funds
administered by IDOT.